Compensation for cop for wrong leave classification

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo –

A COP who assisted injured people at a three-car crash site in Aranguez in 2012, even though he was on vacation, will be compensated for the financial setback he suffered because of incorrect deductions from his gratuity by the police service.

On January 24, Justice Kevin Ramcharan ordered the State to compensate Trevor Duncan in the sum of $184,694.57 and cover his legal bills.

Duncan had injured himself while on the scene of an accident on February 20, 2012. He was on vacation at the time but stopped to help take victims to the hospital. He was even asked by officers on the scene to assist.

Because of the pain in his lower back, Duncan had to have surgery and take leave from his duties. He is now retired.

However, his leave was wrongly classified as sick leave and not injury leave.

When he retired, he was told he was indebted to the police service for overpayments he received while on no-pay extended sick leave. These sums were deducted from his gratuity.

In 2021, his attorneys challenged the classification of his leave as sick leave and this was eventually reversed.

However, Duncan had not been reimbursed the money taken out of his gratuity.

In his ruling, Ramcharan declared that the failure by the police service to reimburse Duncan after his leave was reclassified was in breach of his rights to enjoyment of property and not to be deprived of excess by due process of the law.

He also held the police service’s failure to reimburse Duncan was contrary to law, a breach of its statutory duty and in violation of statutory procedures and requirements under the Police Service Act and its regulations and standing orders.

Duncan was represented by attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Karina Singh and Keston Lewis.